Houseboat Made of Shipping Containers Hits Water

Photo courtesy of Working Waterfront and Steve White.

Photo courtesy of Working Waterfront and Steve White.

If you’ve ever been to Lake Cumberland in the southern part of Kentucky, you probably spotted more than a few houseboats out on the water during your trip. What I guarantee you didn’t see, however, was a houseboat made from old shipping containers but yes, one does exist.

Docked at a Belfast marina is a houseboat built by Brooklin boatbuilder Steve White using old shipping containers. White, who had sold his second home and was looking for a way to be on the waterfront, came up with the idea after reading an article on container homes. With the help of SnapSpace Solutions, a Brewer company that focuses on reusing containers for office and living space, a local boatbuilder, and a pair of container homeowners, White went to work constructing his houseboat made of steel shipping containers.

Because there is often a surplus of shipping containers sitting unused in ports along the eastern seaboard, containers are relatively inexpensive. Additionally, the containers are extremely durable and designed to last in marine environments which made them ideal for this particular project. Despite the advantages, White did face a few challenges along the way. The steel hull was difficult to cut and was prone to bend and sway and the weight of the container caused buoyancy issues.

With the help of his team, White was able to work through the issues. The finished product is a beautiful and inviting living space with a warm red exterior, large windows, heat, bamboo flooring, and a modern kitchen. White and his wife plan on living in the boat part-time and renting it out during the summer months.

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